JESUS WAS IN JERUSALEM during the Feast of the Dedication, which falls in December, in the winter. While He was walking in the Temple court, a crowd gathered and began to question Him, pressing Him to say plainly whether or not He was the Christ, the Messiah. In response Jesus said:
“I tell you and you do not believe. The works that I do in the name of My Father, these bear witness concerning Me. But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them and they follow Me. And I give them everlasting life; and they shall never perish, neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. What My Father has given Me is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch anything out of the hand of My Father. I and the Father are one.”
His listeners thereupon took up stones to stone Him, stoning being the traditional punishment for blasphemy. But Jesus continued:
“Many good works have I shown you from My Father. For which of these works do you stone Me?”
Stolidly, the Jews replied, “Not for a good work do we stone Thee, but for blasphemy, and because Thou, being a man, makest Thyself God.”
Then Jesus questioned them again:
“Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said you are gods’? If he called them gods to whom the word of God was addressed (and the Scripture cannot be broken) do you say of Him whom the Father has made holy and sent into the world, ‘Thou blasphemest,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I do not perform the works of My Father, do not believe Me. But if I do perform them, and if you are not willing to believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me and I in the Father.”
The Jews were not satisfied with this answer, however. They again attempted to seize Jesus, but He escaped from them and crossed the Jordan into Perea.
Meditation: None is so blind as he who will not see. The Jews were not disposed to believe Christ’s doctrine because they had deliberately set their wills against whatever He would have to say. Such spiritual blindness, self-inflicted, is to be feared. Very often we interpret some teaching of the Church the way we wish to see it and not as it actually is. Am I at variance with the Church on any point of her doctrine?
Information from The Life of Christ “Our Lord’s Life with Lesson in His Own Words for Our Life Today” The Catholic Press, Inc. 1959. 161-162. © 1954 edited by Reverend John P. O’Connell, MASTD and Jex Jex Martin, following mainly A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels by Stephen J Hartdegen OFM NIHIL OBSTAT John A McMahon; IMPRIMATUR Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago August 1, 1953. Print. Drawing by Albert H Winkler.